Saturday 11 December 2010

Burnee links for Saturday

Greta Christina's Blog: Why Religion Is Like Fanfic
A post from 2007, but worth revisiting every so often.

Stone Age flour
"Ultimately there can only be one ‘preconceived view of the evidence’ that can be correct—one that is based on a true history of man’s origins. The Bible’s account of history is true—a history that makes it clear that evolutionary ideas of a pre-agriculture ‘Stone Age’ are without foundation. Early man not only practiced agriculture but also made “all kinds of tools of bronze and iron” (Genesis 4:22), though later circumstances saw some people lose that capacity."
Creation Ministries International bemoans the "preconceived view of the evidence" allegedly adopted by evolutionary theory, then blatantly boasts of its own. Bye-bye logic.

Sense About Science | The effects of the English libel laws on bloggers
An article complementing Sense About Science's guide ‘So you’ve had a threatening letter. What can you do?’

I Have Been Putting on my Shoes | The Quackometer
Andy Lewis on libel risks and precautions for bloggers.

Johann Hari: How to spot a lame, lame argument - Johann Hari, Commentators - The Independent
'what-aboutery', and how to keep arguments focussed.

Richard Dawkins | Christopher Hitchens is my hero of 2010 | Comment is free |
One gnu-atheist praises another — no surprise there, but it's worth reading nevertheless.

Greta Christina's Blog: Can Atheism Be Proven Wrong?
It could be, but like Greta I'm not holding my breath.

Hospital Trust faces £120 million in cuts to front line services but finds the money for chaplains and prayer rooms | National Secular Society
According to the article the Royal Oldham Hospital prayer room has a new ablution area for Muslim users.

Wikileaks and the Long Haul « Clay Shirky
Whatever is done about WikiLeaks, it should be legal. It's no good complaining that someone has done something illegal, and then using illegal counter-measures. See this quote from "A Man for All Seasons":
William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!
Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
William Roper: Yes, I'd cut down every law in England to do that!
Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!

Curiouser and curiouser: managing discovery making : Nature News
Nobel laureate Ahmed Zewail explains why fundamental science is crucial to scientific progress.

'Intelligent Design' is a flawed apologetic | Ekklesia
Bob Carling gives a comprehensive account of the condition of ID in Britain today, in the light of Michael Behe's lecture tour and the new Centre for Intelligent Design.

Mutual criticism is vital in science. Libel laws threaten it | Ben Goldacre | Comment is free |
This is the gist of Ben Goldacre's recent World Service "Discovery" radio programme.

The Scientific Guide to Global Warming Skepticism
A lay-person's guide (downloadable PDF).

Manchester Made It Easy: QED. Manchester. Question. Explore. Discover.
Dr Janis Bennion explains about the QED conference in February.

The Rogues Gallery » Blog Archive » Evil Woman
"If this does not define the word “Vulture”, than I do not know how else to define it."
It's hard to believe that the hospital authorities turn a blind eye to such despicable exploitation.

Cardiff Humanists are not “aggressive atheists” trying to ban Christmas | HumanistLife
More on those angry god-deniers who are hell-bent on expunging all mention of Christmas from society.

Pray, should we keep this law for ever and ever? Amen - News - TES Connect
No, we shouldn't. This is a hangover from a time when the religious make-up up state schools was different from how it is today. School assemblies serve several useful purposes, but "worship" isn't one of them. Many schools, as Andrew Copson points out, simply ignore the law. When I was in secondary education, our RE teacher told us that it was clear who was being worshipped in our morning assembly, and it wasn't God.
(Via HumanistLife)